These simple After Effects tips can supercharge your workflow. Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with these useful shortcuts and pointers.
We are not “After Effects designers”, we are motion designers. Most of us just happen to use After Effects. Achieving a zen-like status as a professional motion designer is really about having After Effects get out of the way of your creativity. The best way to do this is to know the most efficient way(s) to get things done. Here’s a few that you might not know about.
After Effects Tip 1: Option + STAHP!
You hit render and you realize that you accidentally left that layer with the monkey.jpg turned off and the client MUST have it. You hit the STAHP! button, and then the Render Queue inconveniently queues up an item with the render settings set to pick up where you left off. I’m on my 20th year of using After Effects and I’ve never, ever used that. HOWEVER, if you hold down option or alt when you hit stop, it creates a fresh new copy of your render item.
After Effects Tip 2: Reveal Composition in Project
In After Effects, it’s inevitable that we precompose. Often we are creating a pre-comp first and need to locate it to drag into the main comp. In a complex project, that comp might be a bit buried or otherwise hard to find if there are a number of folders open. To quickly locate your current comp in the project, simply right-click in the blank space outside of your layers and select “Reveal Composition in Project”.
After Effects Tip 3: Add to Composition
So, you’ve revealed this comp or element in your project window. To quickly add it to your composition, hit control or command + /. It works better if you shout a sound like “PACHOO!” or “ZVHOOSH!”.